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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

With the NFL season in the rearview mirror, we focus our attention on the hardwood with our top college basketball player props and best bets for Monday based on the best college basketball odds.

This season has been a truly historic one for college basketball, as we've seen an AP top-10 team lose on the road to an unranked team at least once in every week since early December.

We don't see that happen on Monday, with no such matchups on the schedule. Yet Kansas could be in a tricky spot on the road against Texas Tech, which comes after the Jayhawks already faced Houston, Baylor, and Kansas State this month.

If you want an idea of how loaded the Big 12 is this season, the top four teams with the hardest remaining strength of schedules (per BPI) all hail from that conference.

Here are our college basketball player props and best bets for Monday (college basketball picks based on odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Monday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(Odds via Caesars)

Monday’s college basketball best bets

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Monday’s college basketball player props

Cameron Hildreth Over 11.5 points vs. Duke (-125 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

Wake Forest guard Cameron Hildreth began the season surpassing this projected point total in nine of his first 10 games against non-conference opponents. While he has scored 12-plus points in just half of the team’s 12 ACC games, he has still scored in double figures in three straight and has a penchant for getting to the free-throw line, with five or more free-throw attempts in three consecutive games.

Hildreth has shown an ability to rise up in road environments, with 17 or more points scored in three of six ACC road games. KenPom projects Wake Forest to score 73 points in a game that is expected to be closer than the point spread indicates, so we expect Hildreth to lead the way to continued success from a Demon Deacons offense that ranks in the top two in adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field-goal percentage, and 3-point shooting percentage in ACC play.

DraftKings and bet365 charge the same -125 juice to back the Over of 11.5 points.  

Monday’s college basketball game picks

Texas Tech team total Over 74.5 vs. Kansas (-115 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Texas Tech has scored Under this projected total in three consecutive games while going 1-2 SU against Cincinnati, Baylor, and UCF. However, we are intrigued by this curious line and also consider the oddity that Kansas is a road underdog in this matchup, as the Over is 2-0 this season in games the Jayhawks have been ‘dogs.

This is not the same defensive-minded Red Raiders team that we have been accustomed to under Chris Beard and Mark Adams in recent years, as the Red Raiders rank 13th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, and shoot 3-pointers at a top-25 rate nationally.

Texas Tech is also deadly from the free-throw line, as three of its top four scorers who average 10.3 points or better shoot at least 82.1% from the charity stripe. That should come in handy against a Jayhawks defense that ranks in the bottom six in league play in free-throw attempts allowed per field-goal attempt, and which allows opponents to score 20.2% of their points from the free-throw line (sixth-highest in the league).

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This is a four-star play, as the Over has cashed in all of Texas Tech’s six games against ranked opponents this season, and eight of its 10 conference games. We are making this wager at DraftKings, as some of our other best sports betting sites charge higher -120 juice to back the Over.

Nicholls State +3 vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (-112 via BetRivers) ⭐⭐⭐

Nicholls State has a massive week ahead of it, with two home games against two of the three teams in the Southland that it's either tied with (at 7-3 in league play) or trailing in the standings. Nicholls has won back-to-back home games by seven or more points, and its only loss on its home floor was a two-point overtime loss to a Lamar team that is also 7-3 in conference play.

Nicholls’ almost exclusive zone defense is difficult to prepare for on just one day’s rest, and it had covered two of its three games this season in that split.

The Colonels managed their second-lowest point total in league play in a 69-59 road loss to Texas A&M CC earlier in the season. Their offensive struggles did not stem from a lack of perimeter shooting (they shot 40% from 3-point range), but rather a 12-for-36 effort inside the arc.

We do not expect Nicholls to replicate that poor performance, given that it owns the best 2-point shooting percentage (53.4%) in conference play. In addition, the Islanders get the second-highest percentage of their points from the free-throw line in league play but shoot just 68.6% as a team, which could bite them in a close game against a Colonels team that makes better than 72% of its free throws on the season.

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BetRivers is the only one of our best sports betting apps offering a line of Nicholls +3, as all other competitors are a half-point lower at +2.5.

TCU -12 vs. West Virginia (-112 via BetRivers) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

West Virginia has not won outside of Morgantown all season, and since its surprising 91-85 home upset of Kansas, the Mountaineers have lost four of five games with a minus-62 point differential in that span.

TCU is coming off a 12-point road loss at Hilton Coliseum, but Iowa State is one of the few teams in the country that can match the Horned Frogs’ physicality and keep them off the offensive glass.

The same can't be said of West Virginia, as TCU should have a massive advantage on the backboards with a top-21 offensive rebounding rate compared to West Virginia’s sub-200 offensive rebounding rate allowed.

The Mountaineers’ poor transition defense is also a big reason they rank dead-last in the Big 12 in adjusted defensive efficiency and second-worst in 2-point percentage allowed, which is a huge red flag against a TCU offense that averages just 15.7 seconds per offensive possession (25th-shortest on average in D-I).

TCU owns home wins against ranked Houston and Texas Tech squads and is 4-2 ATS following a loss. Conversely, West Virginia is 0-5 ATS as a road underdog, and we expect it to get outmuscled en route to a sixth straight non-cover.

BetRivers provides the best value for TCU backers, as all of our other best sportsbooks are at -12.5 or higher (DraftKings is the lone shop to get to -13 thus far).

College basketball best bets made Monday at 6:43 a.m. ET

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